The story of “Why I Ride” is many years in the making. While I long dreamed of a bike ride across the United States, the courage and a worthy reason were lacking. Approaching 50 years of age, I made the decision to try, and turned a dream into a plan and finally into reality. In 2017, I fulfilled that long-held dream as I visited nearly all of SRAM’s USA offices. My reason? World Bicycle Relief. Over $16,000 was raised for WBR on Tour de SRAM USA 2017 (TDSU17): 3600 miles, 28 days, over 1 million pedal strokes- and 1 rattlesnake encounter.
Rather than being the end of a years-long dream, riding across the US was the beginning of a journey. Joining Mark Beaumont for a day on his “Around the World in 80 Days” World Record setting ride (the second one!) just a few months later was a pivotal moment. Reading Mark’s book about his first world record provided the inspiration to ride across America. Riding with him on what at the time was the longest ride of my life (218 miles in one day) was the key to realizing my long-distance cycling and helping others could and should continue.
2018 brought a shorter but tougher ride: “Insanity to Inspire (Helping others through The Power of Bicycles)”, from Indianapolis through Chicago to Mackinac City, Michigan. I managed to ride 830 miles in 82 hours and although I raised less than $2000, this ride made it certain that my annual crazy endurance rides for WBR had to continue!
After months of prayer, thought, and input from family and friends, “Why I Ride” came to be. This will be the home to announce new endurance rides for World Bicycle Relief and to share stories after those rides are done.
My lifetime goal is to provide 1,000 bikes! Accomplishing that will require raising $147,000 (each WBR Buffalo Bike currently costs $147). You can track progress and donate directly to World Bicycle Relief at https://fundraise.worldbicyclerelief.org/WhyIRide
The photo below is with 2 Buffalo Bike recipients, Teddy & Aaron, who were able to stay in school in Africa and are now exchange students in the US. They plan to attend college here before returning home to use their education in turn to help others.
Why I Ride: it’s not about bikes and it’s not even about raising money, it’s about helping people.